This week we have some pretty surprising players making the list on both sides, but that’s what makes fantasy football so exciting.
We have some players who have shown their true colors after some hyped-up off-season stories, as well as some players that have a real opportunity thanks to injuries or coach firings.
With Bye weeks starting, your start and sit decisions will get a bit harder as you cover your absences with bench players or streamers, so I’ll try to include some lesser-rostered players moving forward.
Let’s take a look at who the big names are for this week’s Start ‘Em or Sit ‘Em.
Geno Smith, QB (Seattle Seahawks)
Geno Smith has been probably the biggest surprise at the Quarterback position in 2022. He currently is the QB6 in fantasy scoring and faces a Cardinals’ defense that hasn’t been able to stop anyone so far.
Smith is starting to click with D.K. Metcalf and Tyler Lockett, throwing three long touchdowns in Week Five’s loss to New Orleans. The Seattle defense is not that good, which should allow Kyler Murray and company to score relatively easily. That always bodes well for Quarterbacks, and Smith has been very efficient and mistake-free to the point you can trust him in your lineups.
If this game is anything like last week, it should be a high-scoring affair with lots of passing.
Rhamondre Stevenson, RB (New England Patriots)
Rhamondre Stevenson absolutely smoked the Lions in Week Five, and now has the backfield to himself thanks to a Damien Harris hamstring injury. The Patriots will probably start undrafted rookie Bailey Zappe again, which means plenty of carries and potential checkdowns.
The Browns are giving up the fifth most points to the Running Back position, so Stevenson should have plenty of room to run. Stevenson is a must-start in most leagues against a bad run defense.
DJ Moore, WR (Carolina Panthers)
So this is a big dart throw this week, and maybe I’m just taking in too much hopium, but DJ Moore has been freed from Baker Mayfield and Matt Rhule…for now.
PJ Walker looks to be the one to get the start in Week Six against the Rams, and we should see a different offense now that Rhule is gone. Will that offense be better? It’s hard to say, but it can’t get any worse for Moore already so let’s see what happens.
The Rams are giving up the fourth most points to the Wide Receiver position and will probably be focusing on Christian McCaffery. If Moore can avoid Jalen Ramsey, he could be in line for a lot of targets as the Panthers try to keep up with Cooper Kupp. If he busts this game, it’s probably time to drop him.
Evan Engram, TE (Jacksonville Jaguars)
Evan Engram hasn’t necessarily been huge this year, but he had 10 targets in Week Five’s loss to the Texans. The Jaguars have been struggling as of late, which is odd after a great start to the season.
The Jaguars shut out the Colts in Week Two, and Engram was targeted eight times in that contest. He caught seven passes for 46 yards. The Colts are currently giving up the sixth most points to opposing Tight Ends, making this a nice streaming option if you need one.
It’s hard to say Engram will be an every-week starter, but with the position being so scarce this year, finding the right streamer could make or break the week.
Jason Myers, K – (Seattle Seahawks)
Jason Myers has been pretty good so far this season, going 8/9 on field goals and making 13/14 extra points.
As I mentioned above, the Seahawks have been a nice surprise for offensive purposes, and that benefits Myers as well. Geno Smith and his efficiency should move the ball down the field easily on the Cardinals, although I have to imagine they won’t convert every drive into a touchdown.
This game has a high over/under at 51.5 points, so expect plenty of field goals and a few extra-point opportunities.
New England Patriots, DST
So, I was wrong about the Patriots’ defense last week. I had them as a sit, but boy did they shut down the Lions. Jared Goff didn’t even get a garbage-time touchdown.
The Patriots have had a good defense for a while, so we could be seeing a positive regression after a bad start to the season.
The Patriots face the Browns in Week Six, a team that must run the ball to really beat you. If the Patriots can stop Nick Chubb and Kareem Hunt, they should have no problem coming away with a victory.
Russell Wilson, QB (Denver Broncos)
Broncos’ Country, Let’s Cry!
Yeah, so Russell Wilson hasn’t performed well at all this season, and now news came out that he is playing with a partially torn lat muscle. That’s not something you want to hear from a guy who has to throw the football.
The Broncos lost star Running Back Javonte Williams for the season, as well as Left Tackle Garett Bolles for the foreseeable future.
The Broncos face the Chargers this week, who really are the most beatable on the ground. This is another primetime game in which Wilson can struggle. We may see a ton of short throws at the line of scrimmage.
Najee Harris, RB (Pittsburgh Steelers)
It’s hard to sit your “stud” players, but there is just no real justification for starting Najee Harris at this point in the season. And there are a plethora of reasons why.
First off, Harris had his massive rookie season thanks to the human potato (Ben Roethlisberger) having to sit in one spot and throw the ball immediately. Harris was the target of so many check-downs last season that it masked the true run game of the Steelers.
Second, the Pittsburgh Steelers are in shambles. The Mitch Trubisky experiment failed, and so far the Kenny Pickett experiment hasn’t yielded much better results. The offensive line is bad, and Harris just looks slow. Plus, Pickett seems to like to sneak it in rather than hand it off to the big-bodied Running Back.
And lastly, Jaylen Warren has seen his usage tick upward in the last few weeks, to the point where he is now the third-down back instead of Harris.
Add all of that to the fact that the Steelers play the Buccaneers this week (one of the best run defenses in the league), and you can confidently sit Harris. Rant over.
JuJu Smith-Schuster, WR (Kansas City Chiefs)
Well, the JuJu Smith-Schuster to Kansas City did not revive his fantasy relevance as many had hoped, and we are now looking at a trap game for the Kansas City receiver.
Patrick Mahomes had warned us that it would be frustrating to roster Kansas City receivers since he was going to be spreading the ball around. The frustrating part is that the targets are there. JuJu has had eight targets in four of five games but just can’t seem to haul many in for big yardage. He also has 0 touchdowns since most of them go to Clyde Edwards-Helaire or Travis Kelce.
This Bills-Chiefs game might be a high-scoring affair, but I’d avoid the trap that JuJu will have a good game based on game flow alone.
Hayden Hurst, TE (Cincinnati Bengals)
Hayden Hurst has played well with Tee Higgins consistently missing time, and he continued that in Week Five when Higgins again saw himself standing on the sidelines.
Higgins is dealing with an ankle injury that held him out of the action, although he was active and was on the sidelines. Now we aren’t sure if that was just to throw Baltimore off, but it does appear that Higgins should be close to returning.
The Bengals face the Saints this week, a team that is the fifth-best in stopping opposing Tight Ends. The Saints will most likely also be without Marshon Lattimore, which will make Ja’Marr Chase a much more open receiver than it would have been.
With Higgins in the lineup, Hurst only saw 13 targets over those three games, and only had one decent game thanks to a touchdown catch. If Higgins is healthy, Hurst is a pass this week against the Saints.
Younghoe Koo, K (Atlanta Falcons)
Younghoe Koo is an interesting Kicker this season. On the one hand, he is a great Kicker. On the other hand, he is on the Falcons.
Atlanta is in a unique situation, with an offense so bad that it either can’t move the ball or it has to go for touchdowns/two-point conversions in order to keep it close.
And this week the Falcons get the 49ers, one of the best defenses in the league. The over-under is 44.5 points with the 49ers as 5.5-point favorites. Koo’s chances will be few and far between, so look for a higher-scoring game to find a streamer.
New Orleans Saints, DST
The Saints’ defense gave up 32 points to the Seahawks in Week Five and had to rely on Taysom Hill to actually get any offense.
This week they face Joe Burrow and his trio of Receivers that could easily go off against an iffy pass defense. Marshon Lattimore, the Saints’ top corner, also could miss this game after being injured in Week Five.
This one doesn’t have the highest over/under of the week, but the Bengals have the ability to blow the lid off of this one.
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